This course looks at urban transportation as a critical sector of the urban system. Given the rapid urbanization and expansion of cities, transportation of goods and people is instrumental to the functioning of cities as well as in improving the quality of life in urban areas. On the other hand, inadequate, inefficient and unaffordable as well as poorly planned urban transportation tends to have several environmental, economic and social implications. In this course, transportation in urban areas is examined in two parts - (i) what is transport planning and the basic concepts of urban transport, and (ii) policy and governance of transportation in urban areas. It assumes that transportation problems have global, regional and local implications that can only be addressed with multi-level and multi-disciplinary approaches. Among others, we will also study the transportation needs of special populations (elderly, children, disabled and immigrants); innovative mass transportation solutions and case studies from India and abroad, etc. The course will include lectures, field visits, guest speakers, one group assignment and a research paper. (2 credits)

Transportation planning is critical to the proper functioning of cities and metropolitan areas. Transport, land use, economic development and environment are interdependent. Transportation policy and planning therefore need to be evolved on the basis of spatial, environmental, economic, social and political considerations. The major goals of sustainable urban transport policy are pollution control, efficient service, accessibility, safety, efficient pricing and efficient investment.  Urban transportation planning processes include many areas of intervention from highway, airport and harbour development to integrating rail, mass transit, bicycle and pedestrian planning systems, transportation demand management, modelling, land use interactions, budgeting, etc.

The premise of this course is that motorized, privately owned automobiles are undeniably on the rise in metros as the main mode of transportation in India as well as in other developing countries. However, an excessive car dependency has some serious shortcomings. Automobiles generate air pollution, congestion, contribute to the depletion of natural resources, and endanger the safety of the most vulnerable users of our streets (pedestrians and bicyclists). A transportation system mainly based on the automobile does not account for the needs of those who cannot or do not want to drive (the elderly, children and the mobility impaired, etc.). Therefore, there needs to be a shift towards strengthening the public transportation system.

This course's main objective is to discuss how transportation can be made more sustainable and how to encourage alternative ways of transportation and improve public transportation in cities. By the end of the course you can expect to know a whole array of concepts, debates as well as innovative techniques to bring sustainable transportation to the forefront of urban planning decisions.